A Sermon Series using The Faith Sharing New Testament and Psalms
By Rev. Dr. Charles Anderson, 2012 Distinguished Evangelist
How do we tell others about Jesus within the context of our present lifestyles and “church-styles” – once we’ve earned the right to speak, then what do we say and how do we say it? Why do we speak of Jesus, and how do we speak of Jesus?
These questions form the framework for finding our personal evangelistic voices for speaking Jesus as community for the community. Using the distinctly Wesleyan theology as outlined in THE FAITH SHARING NEW TESTAMENT AND PSALMS from the Foundation For Evangelism, this church-wide study seeks to so instill the message and the urgency of Christ-center Methodism into our hearts, that we become both equipped and inspired to share Jesus with our words from our hearts.
Sermon Title: Is Heart Work Hard Work?
Scripture: Faith Sharing NT, Romans 15:18-19
Passage Summary: Paul focuses all he says on his first-hand experience of Christ’s work in Paul’s life
Subject: Faith Sharing: “What does is mean to share Christian faith with others and who is responsible for it?” (Questions 1, 2, and some of 3).
Theme: Why & What of Evangelistic Witness: What is the content of our evangelistic witness in the world and is this something that is for people with the gift of evangelism or for every Christian?
Common Take Away: There are people we know that we need to have Jesus conversations with and there are people we need to know in order to have Jesus conversations with.
Invitation Option: Identify one person you know but don’t know how it is between them and Jesus. Write their name in your Faith Sharing New Testament. (If you can’t think of anyone, think of someone you could get to know.)
Sermon Title: Sharing Your Heart
Scripture: Faith Sharing NT, John 9:1-34
Passage Summary: Jesus heals a blind man, whose testimony of the event grows in understanding and impact
Subject: Testimony: “Sharing your testimony.” (Questions 4 and 5)
Theme: Sharing the God Story in Your Own Story: Testimony is sharing God’s story in light of what has happened in our lives . This sermon will go through the very practical steps of faith sharing found in questions 4 and 5 of the FSNT.
Common Take Away: We all have a story about us and about God. One of the first steps of sharing our faith is knowing our own story.
Invitation Option: Provide cards (small enough to fit in the Faith Sharing New Testament). One said says, “Once upon a time I…” The other says, “Once upon a time Jesus…”
Media Support Options: Video people giving brief witness to their story.
Sermon Title: Rescuing a Heart
Scripture: Ephesians 2:8-9
Passage Summary: Paul promotes the saving power of grace, which itself is God’s freely given gift
Subject: Salvation (Question 7)
Theme: The What & How of Salvation: What is salvation and what does it take for a person to receive salvation?
Common Take Away: Grace is Jesus come looking for you
Invitation Option: Why Jesus? Write a brief explanation of why it is important to put one’s faith in Jesus.
Sermon Title: Leading a Heart
Scripture: Faith Sharing NT, Mark 1:14-15
Passage Summary: Mark records the primary message of Jesus – the nearness of God’s kingdom
Subject: Decision: “Leading someone to a point of decision” (Question 6)
Theme: Leading a Person to a Decision for Christ: The step by step process of walking someone toward a decision to follow Jesus, as found in question 6 of the FSNT.
-Mark 1:14-15 for the overarching scriptural theme and liturgical reading.
-Each point of the sermon has a scripture along with it that the congregation will be asked to mark in their Bible as a guide for leading someone to make a decision to follow Jesus. Each preaching pastor will determine one scripture of the selections that best illuminates their point.
Take Away: It is our job to help people: 1. Accept the gift and 2. Thank the giver.
Invitation Option: Fill-in the blank worksheet to be filled out during sermon. “What we should ask you to do today is go out and do this, but somewhere along the line we have tripped and fallen. Before we ask others to accept this, have we accepted it for ourselves. Circle one area on the answer sheet that you need to spend some time with Jesus working on. You cannot lead where you have not been.”
Sermon Title: Anchoring a Heart
Scripture: Ephesians 3:14-19
Passage Summary: Paul prays a generous prayer for his readers, asking that God’s extraordinary goodness might be manifested in them in unbelievable ways.
Theme: Prayer as Prep/Follow-Up of a Decision: It is the responsibility of a Christian who is sharing their faith to pray for the decision maker both while they are making the decision (perhaps even as they make it) and following the decision. The job of sharing your faith does not end at the point of decision.
Common Take Away: You can’t speak effectively about God if you don’t first speak intimately to God.
Assignment: Open your Bible to the name you wrote the first week. Spend some time writing a prayer for them so that you will be prepared should the occasion arise.
Sermon Title: Growing a Heart
Scripture: Faith Sharing NT, Colossians 1:9-14
Passage Summary: Paul prays that these disciples might live lives worthy of their calling in Christ Jesus.
Subject: Next Steps:“Next steps for the new follower of Jesus?” (Question 9)
Theme: From Conversion to Discipleship: faith sharing is more than just sharing your story – it’s also sharing your journey. We don’t just talk about where we have come from, we share where we are going to
Common Take Away: Love is a gift, but love’s also a goal.
Invitation Option: Pocket Crosses placed on the rails. Come forward if you are ready to commit to the life of a disciple, to share your faith with others
Devotional Calendar & Daily Reading Guide
FSNT = “Faith Sharing New Testament”Each daily assignment includes both the reading AND its listed scripture passagesNo readings on Sunday. All readings refer back to that Sunday’s lesson/sermon
- MON = FSNT page 517 – What does it mean to share Christian faith with others?
- TUES = FSNT page 517 – Who is responsible for sharing faith with others?
- WED = FSNT page 517 – What are the primary concerns in effective witnessing?
- THUR = FSNT page 517 – What are some essential principles that guide us in witnessing? [a]
- FRI = FSNT page 518 – What are some essential principles that guide us in witnessing? [b-d]
- SAT = FSNT page v – “What is a Christian?”
- MON = FSNT page 518-519 – What are some essential principles that guide us in witnessing? [e-g]
- TUES = FSNT page 519-520 – What are some essential principles that guide us in witnessing? [j-j]
- WED = FSNT page 520 – What are some important points in giving a personal testimony?
- THURS = FSNT page v – Who is Jesus Christ?
- FRI = FSNT page v-vi – Who is the Holy Spirit?
- SAT = FSNT page vi – What is Christian discipleship?
- MON = FSNT page 526 – What are the key steps in this process of being saved by grace through faith?
- TUES = FSNT page vi – What is the mission of Jesus Christ?
- WED = FSNT page vi-vii – What is the Kingdom of God?
- THURS = FSNT page vii – What is sin?
- FRI = FSNT page vii-viii – What are the effects of sin?
- SAT = FSNT page viii – What is the good news/gospel/evangel?
- MON = FSNT page viii – What is grace?
- TUES = FSNT page viii – What is salvation?
- WED = FSNT page ix – What is conversion?
- THURS = FSNT page ix – What is repentance?
- FRI = FSNT page ix – What is Christian faith?
- SAT = FSNT page ix-x – What has Jesus done to make salvation possible?
- MON = FSNT page 520-521 – What is a graceful pattern of inviting a person to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? [“G”]
- TUES = FSNT page 522-524 – What is a graceful pattern of inviting a person to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? [“R” and “A”]
- WED = FSNT page 524-525 – What is a graceful pattern of inviting a person to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? [“C” and “E”]
- THURS = FSNT page 526-527 – What are some helpful examples of prayer that may be used in the faith-sharing process?
- FRI = FSNT page 528 – What additional counsel is given to the faith-sharer? What is an important prayer for the faith-sharer to pray continually? What is an encouraging words from the Holy Scripture for faith-sharers?
- SAT = FSNT page x – What is the new birth?
- MON = FSNT page x – How are we put right with God?
- TUES = FSNT page xi – How do we become God’s holy people?
- WED = FSNT page xi – How can we know we are saved?
- THURS = FSNT page xi-xii – What are the marks of persons who are right with God?
- FRI = FSNT page xii – What is the church of Jesus Christ?
- SAT = FSNT page xiii – What are the distinctive features of the Methodist/Wesleyan movement?